Accenture report highlights growth in 'New Science'

By Erik L. Ridley, The Science Advisory Board contributing writer

Combining health and science technology to deliver more precise and effective treatments is driving growth in the life sciences market, according to a new market report produced by Accenture.

This technology combination, which Accenture calls "New Science," is projected to produce 81% of industry revenue growth between 2021 and 2026, according to Accenture. The company had projected products in this category to drive 54% of all revenues from 2017 to 2022.

The report analyzes regulated scientific treatments, including life science mechanisms, modalities, and platforms. As a result of this strong projected growth, biopharma companies should focus on streamlining treatment discovery, development, and commercialization, Accenture said.

New Science can deliver more precise and effective treatments. But this can come at the cost of a higher price tag, according to the report.

The COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on some activity in New Science, however, according to the report. In all, Accenture said that 1,479 research trials of both New Science and traditional technology were suspended or delayed between February and August 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also taking a bite out of profit margins for New Science companies, at 6% on average, according to the report. The biopharmaceutical executives who were surveyed for the report predicted lower profit margins in every therapeutic area, including oncology. The one exception is cell and gene therapy.

To counter these negative trends, the Accenture report recommends more use of technologies like virtual clinical trials, which can cut research and development costs. Indeed, the number of virtual clinical trials grew by 50% in 2020.

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